by Deb Abraham Spalding

At a combined meeting of all available Emmitsburg Volunteer Ambulance Company (EVAC) and Vigilant Hose Company (VHC) members at Vigilant Hose Company’s Station 6 on Tuesday evening, December 12, 2017, the signing of merger documentation, in which the Emmitsburg Volunteer Ambulance Company became a part of the Vigilant Hose Company, took place. This followed the signing of merger documentation by EVAC leadership members that authorized the transfer of all assets and liabilities to the VHC. The VHC was represented by the Law Offices of Michael H. Delauter, while EVAC was represented by Ian Bartman of Offutt & Kurman.

Following a presentation by the VHC Attorney Michael Delauter, EVAC and VHC membership, together and unanimously, approved the action, thus exceeding the required two-thirds membership vote.

The merger documents stipulated that the legal transfer would take place at 12:00 a.m. on January 1, 2018. At the stroke of midnight, during EVAC’s New Year’s Eve Bingo at the Activities Building on Creamery Road in Emmitsburg, the crowd of approximately 350 people had more to celebrate than just the new year 2018. As they burst into cheer at midnight, it was to celebrate the new year and the merger. Earlier that night, in a different part of the same facility, a party was held during the final hours of VHC’s Six of Hearts fundraiser. Tickets were drawn every ten minutes until a winner was finally pulled at 10:00 p.m. The name Barbara Berg was drawn and the card behind number 45 revealed the 6 of Hearts. Barbara became the lucky winner of the $54,000 cumulative jackpot.

The New Year’s Eve Bingo and the Six of Hearts fundraisers are perfect examples of the new stronger volunteer force working together for one unified organization. “It’s a win-win situation,” shared Mary Lou Little, former president of EVAC, “I can’t emphasize how well it’s working. It’s the greatest thing ever! It made Emmitsburg stronger than it’s ever been. We’re all so proud.”

VHC president Frank Davis expressed a similar sentiment, “The biggest thing is that it was the right thing to do for both organizations, overall, and it was the right thing to do for the community. The merger strengthened the community in emergency responses. It’s taken two groups of talented individuals and put together one of the best emergency services organizations in the state.”

As with all volunteer organizations, the need for funds to drive the mission is vital. In addition to a new Six of Hearts fundraiser that is ongoing until a winner is drawn in 2018, the VHC hosts bingo every Wednesday afternoon in the Activities Building, with games starting at 1:00 p.m., as well as every Friday evening, with games starting at 6:50 p.m. Food is available to participants and the general public for eat-in or take-out during these games.

The VHC’s annual Spring Fling event will be held at a new location this May: at the Company’s Activity Building, located on Creamery Road in Emmitsburg.

Spring Fling will be held May 19, 2018, with winners drawn from noon-5:00 p.m. See their advertisement on page 14 for more details and ticket information.

Pictured from left are: (standing) Vicki Long, EVAC secretary and Mary Lou Little, EVAC president; (seated) Tom Vaughn, VHC assistant secretary; Steve Valentine, VHC secretary; Frank Davis, VHC president; Mike Delauter, VHC Company attorney; and Steve Hollinger, VHC treasurer.

January 2018

by James Rada, Jr


Snow Removal Reminder

Given the snow that has fallen this winter, the Emmitsburg town staff reminded residents that all basketball hoops and other items need to be removed from the street before a storm, and vehicles need to be removed off snow emergency routes. After the storm has ended, residents have 24 hours to remove snow and ice from public sidewalks that border their property. Snow should not be blown or shoveled into a cleared street. These items are part of the town municipal code and can result in citations if not followed.


Sidewalk Do’s and Don’ts

Now that Emmitsburg has new sidewalks connecting different areas of the town, there are things that residents can do and shouldn’t do to ensure those sidewalks continue looking good. Don’t use any product containing salt or any type of chloride to melt snow and ice. Chloride reacts with the aggregate in the concrete to scale and delaminate it. Instead, use kitty litter, sand, or fireplace ashes for de-icing. Wash or sweep (if cold) any concrete that gets salt deposited on it from your car.


Recycling Schedule

Emmitsburg will continue to follow the Frederick County recycling schedule this year. The schedule can be found on the town website. Pickups will be every other Thursday. Your recycling should be placed at the curb by 6:00 a.m. on scheduled pickup days and at least four feet away from trash cans, cars, and mailboxes.


For more information on the Town of Emmitsburg, visit or call 301-600-6300.



Donation from Halloween in the Park

The Town of Thurmont recently donated $2,520.78 to the Thurmont Food Bank. This amount came from the excess of the admission charged at the annual Halloween in the Park event, once the expenses were paid. This was in addition to a truckload of nonperishable food items that were also donated to Thurmont Food Bank at the event.


Water Capacity Study Approved

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners approved a bid of $15,200 from Arro Consulting in Hagerstown to perform a water-capacity study of the town’s water system. The study will look at the condition and capacity of the water system and evaluate water sources, treatment systems, transmissions, distribution mains, storage, pumping systems, and system losses. It will also look at the town’s current and projected demands on the water system, identify any excess capacity, outline alternatives for sharing of infrastructure, and make any recommendations. The town has worked with Arro Consulting before and has found their work excellent.


Mayor Pro-tem Chosen

Following the re-election of Mayor John Kinnaird last fall, the commissioners had to choose a mayor pro-tem. The mayor pro-tem duties are to serve in the place of the mayor if the mayor is unable to attend a meeting. Commissioner Bill Buehrer was the most recent mayor pro-tem and Commissioner Wayne Hooper served before him. Commissioner Wes Hamrick was elected to the position with a 4-0-1. Hamrick abstained from voting.

For more information on the Town of Thurmont, visit or call the town office at 301-271-7313.


 Mayor Don Briggs

The New Year comes with traction. On January 3, the first day of business, we had a meeting with the executive director of the Frederick County Boys and Girls Club. We have been working with the club for some time. Things seem to be moving in the right direction for a youth program in Emmitsburg, possibly in the fall. On January 4, I attended the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Memorial Mass and reception at the basilica. The main celebrant was Archbishop William E. Lori of the Baltimore Diocese. The service was a solemn tribute and very well attended. On January 6, Lib and I were among the 245 people who attended the 134th Annual Vigilant Hose Company 6 Banquet, which also included Ambulance Company 26. The banquet was held at the facility on Creamery Road.

Inspirational is the best way to describe how the two companies joined together to better serve our community. The merger that began last July was completed officially on January 1.  From what I have heard, if and when other fire and ambulance companies should choose to merge, this is the county’s official template.

Congratulations to Leo “Mike” Boyle on receiving an award for his sixty-five years of service and support of the company. Well done. Also, congratulations to the company. The 2017 statistics are more than compelling. For the year, Vigilant Hose responded to 534 calls, on average (over 10 a week or almost 1.5 a day). EMS calls for both (including Station 26, up until July 1) totaled 1,139 calls for the year (almost 22 per week or over 3 per day). Since July 1, the dispatch arrival average time to “its first due area response area” (Emmitsburg) averaged 6.54 minutes.

On January 11, I attended the monthly County Executive – Mayor/Burgess meeting. The main topic of discussion was updating all those who attended on the status and priorities of the Maryland State Highway Administration for improvement to U.S. 15 and Interstate 270. The time table has been moved up on the construction of additional lanes south of Frederick to 2025 completion; there will be four lanes each direction, of which two, each way, will be toll. To everyone’s dismay, the widening of U.S. 15 through the City of Frederick has been pushed back to 2030. Upgrading of Biggs Ford Road at U.S. 15 interchange timetable is scheduled for 2040.

On January 13, Lib and I attended the Emmitsburg Lions Club Banquet, commemorating its 35th charter year. It was very well attended. Congratulations to Gene Rosensteel on receiving a special award for assisting in the Emmitsburg Lions Club formation.

Late Christmas present for Emmitsburg and a prize indeed for the community: A fire company-themed glass etching done by nationally renowned artist William Cochran is coming to the Frederick County Fire Rescue Museum. The three-panel, 15-foot x 8-foot, 120 square-foot etching is presently displayed at the Firehouse Financial Center on W. Church Street in Frederick, the old Independent Hose Company building. It was done in the mid-1980s to commemorate the Independent Hose Company that had moved to its present location on Baughman’s Lane.

This fall, the Mount will field a men’s soccer team, men’s and women’s golf teams, and women’s bowling team to take the university to twenty NCAA teams.

From last December: I forgot to mention that on December 18, Maryland Commerce Secretary Mike Gill visited the Mount to learn more about the Mount’s newest majors: entrepreneurship and cybersecurity. I participated in the meeting with President Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D., Chief of Staff Wayne Green, Christine Adamow, Director of the Palmieri Center for Entrepreneurship, Professors Nick Hutchings and Donald E. Butt, Jr., Jane Graves, DC, Board Chair of Seton Center, Inc., and Sr. Martha Beaudoin, DC, Director of Seton Center, Inc.

Like all, I am hoping for some warmer weather so the State can get back to work on the square. It would make a wonderful Valentine’s Day gift. Thank you to everyone for your patience for any inconvenience the square/sidewalk project has brought about, but when finished this spring, we will have something special.


Mayor John Kinnaird

The cold weather not only brings snow, sleet, and rain, but it also causes issues with our infrastructure! I am sure that everyone is aware of the electric and water issues we have had recently, many caused by the weather. The freezing weather can cause residential water lines to freeze and can be a prime factor of breaks in our water mains, both of which we have experienced recently. We have also suffered power outages caused by high winds, freezing precipitation, and circuits under strain, due to increased electric heating demand. When power goes out or water service is interrupted, we encourage residents to call our office at 301-271-7313 and report these issues. After hours, there are instructions for reaching staff during these emergencies. When the office is closed, please listen to the recorded information. The instructions will tell you to dial 1 for emergencies; you will then be instructed to dial option 1 for electric, option 2 for sewer, option 3 for water, and option 4 for streets and parks. When following these instructions, your call will be transferred to one of our staff. Please keep in mind that once an issue has been reported, the person answering the phone is most likely working on the problem and may not be able to respond to all calls. It is a safe bet that once several people have noticed an issue, town staff has been made aware of the situation. You are free to call, but if your call is not answered promptly, it is probably because the staff person is working to repair the problem. You can also check out the Town of Thurmont Facebook page ( or my page ( to see if anyone has reported an issue. It is important that our residents are informed of any infrastructure issues we may be experiencing, and we keep an eye on Facebook for reports of questions about issues and we attempt to provide updates as they are available.

Currently, the Town of Thurmont is making sewer line repairs to Rouzer Court, and will be working in the coming weeks on repairs and improvements at locations on Apples Church Road, Mantle Court, and Moser Road. Please be aware of these ongoing projects and be careful while driving where sewer line work is being completed.

This summer, we are planning to start work on waterlines on North Church Street, between Emmitsburg Road and Rt. 15. This project will see the replacement of water mains and the installation of new service lines. The work is expected to cause disruption to traffic, with narrowed or closed travel lanes. During this project, be sure to allow more time if you are passing through the work area or plan on taking alternate routes. There will be flagmen directing traffic and, as always, be sure to pay close attention to the directions they are giving traffic.

Finally, I want to thank our residents for your patience and understanding during the recent water and electric issues we have been addressing. Our staff is dedicated to restoring service as quickly as possible whenever there is an outage or loss of services.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns at, by calling me at 301-606-9458, or through my Facebook page.

Mark your calendar and bring the whole family out to the YMCA Summer Camp Open House on Sunday, February 11, 2018, from 2:00-4:00 p.m. The fun will include a moon bounce, snacks, activities led by camp staff, and much more! View the advertisement on page 48 for more information.

Get your tickets today for the Valentines Dance on February 17, 2018, at the Emmitsburg Ambulance Hall. Doors will open at 4:30 p.m., with dinner served at 5:30 p.m. Dancing the evening away from 7:00-11:00 p.m., with classic rock and dance music by The Special Delivery Band. View the advertisement on page 8 for more information and on how to purchase your tickets today!

The Thurmont Event Complex is holding two not-to-be-missed dinner events in February! On February 10, 2018, come out for the Wing & Shrimp Feed, from 6:30-8:30 p.m.; on February 24, enjoy a night of great food and mystery at the Murder Mystery Dinner (doors open at 5:00 p.m.). View the advertisement on page 5 for more details about these great events.

Save the date on April 7, 2018, for Thurmont Lions Club’s Cash Bingo at the Guardian Hose Company’s Activities Building in Thurmont. Doors open at 5:00 p.m., with Bingo at 6:45 p.m. Bingo also features tip jars, specials, door prizes, raffles, and more! View the advertisement on page 17 for more information.

Mark your calendars for the Money & Coach Bags Bingo at the Thurmont Event Complex on April 8, 2018. Doors open at 11:00 a.m. Bingo also features tip jars, door prizes, cash bar and kitchen, and much more! View the advertisement on page 15 for more information.